The Newark Unified School District Board of Education understands and believes the research that parental/guardian interest and involvement in their child’s learning as well as spending quality family time at home are critical elements to a child’s success in school. Homework is one way of involving the parent in the student’s learning process. The Board recognizes the diversity of families in the community and honors family experiences outside school. The frequency and appropriateness of homework shall be planned carefully and evaluated periodically by site administration and leadership teams.
Definition of Homework
Homework is the time students spend outside the classroom in assigned activities to practice, reinforce, or apply newly acquired skills and knowledge to learn necessary skills of independent study (Jocelyn A. Butler, School Improvement Research Series (SIRS)).
Purpose of Homework
to assist and improve a student’s progress towards California State Standards
to extend or make more meaningful concepts introduced at school
to engage students in purposeful practice relevant to their learning
to develop effective study habits
Recommended Nightly Minutes
Within Newark Unified School District, each school will establish homework expectations organized by grade level, course level, or department and follow the parameters established by district policy. Homework is to be reasonable in length, directly related to California State Standards and classroom work, well defined in advance by the teacher, understood by the students, and assessed and returned to the student in a reasonable time. Homework will vary according to the course description and the student’s grade level.
Teachers and parents must recognize that students work and learn at different rates. Teachers are encouraged to make every effort not to exceed the recommended nightly minutes. In situations where the time it takes a student to complete expected homework assignments regularly exceed the recommended amount of time listed in this policy, teachers and parents should confer to determine if adjustments are needed to fit within the following recommendations.
Homework includes all work assigned by teacher(s). These minutes and days are based on time estimated for an average student working at a focused pace in an uninterrupted environment. Long-term projects may require additional time to complete. The guidelines do not include minutes provided for school wide academic interventions. These minutes do not include daily independent reading, which is expected and encouraged. Homework times may vary occasionally.
The recommendations are as follows:
9th – 12 Grades 120 minutes per night Monday – Friday
Certain classes/programs, such as college prep, honors, Advanced Placement (AP) and college level classes may have additional homework requirements.
Homework is an important tool for home/school communication. Parents and students will be informed at the beginning of the school year of homework policy through Back to School Night presentation, district and/or individual site handbooks, course expectations, and/or newsletters. Teachers and parents are encouraged to communicate frequently about how well homework is promoting student progress toward California State Standards.
The Board recognizes that the development of responsibility, self-discipline, and life long learning is essential. The Newark Unified School District board policy 6154 establishes homework as a planned and expected part of the educational program.
Types of Homework
1: The five major homework types are as follows:
2: practice which is designed to reinforce skills and information covered in class;
3: preparation which is given to prepare students to benefit from subsequent lessons;
4: extension which is provided to determine if a student can extend the concept of skill learned in class to a new situation;
5: creative which is designed to require students to integrate many skills and concepts in producing some project;
completion which is a continuation of assignments stared in class.
Responsibilities and Procedures
Homework needs to reflect expectations for progressive student responsibility from kindergarten through twelfth grade. As capacity for self-direction increases, teaching and parenting roles change from more directive to more facilitative.
1: assign homework that supports the California State Standards and is meaningful, useful, and appropriate to the individual child
2: provide a balance between long-range and short-term assignments
3: monitor long-term assignments in order to avoid last minute student efforts, whenever possible
4: give clear, concise directions; allow time for student questions; consider availability of materials and provide options when needed; provide legible, error free worksheets, whenever possible
5: Suggest guidelines to parents for appropriate supervision of homework
ensure that students who have excused absences know how they may make up homework and, at a minimum, are given the number days of absence to complete work
6: coordinate long term assignments with other departments, whenever possible
7: ensure that if assignments are given on Friday, they will not exceed the Recommended Nightly Minutes as stated in the board policy
8: refrain from assigning homework the day prior to school break periods that would require completion of an assignment only during the school break, whenever possible
9: refrain from using homework as a punishment and from exercising disciplinary action if homework is attempted from the full amount of Recommended Nightly Minutes as stated in the board policy
10: ensure that individual students will not be penalized for other group members not completing assigned tasks
11: evaluate according to the amount of homework attempted in the recommended time
12: adjust homework to accommodate academic intervention upon mutual agreement with the parent, whenever possible
1: record the directions for homework
2: ask questions when necessary to clarify the assignment
3: follow a schedule and keep materials orderly
4: hand in, on time, neat, accurate, and meaningful products
5: plan time for completion of long-term assignments
6: request and hand in homework which was assigned while absent
7: adhere to the guidelines of uninterrupted study time
8: speak with the teacher(s) immediately if home life conflicts with study time
9: speak with the teacher(s) immediately if homework exceeds recommended time.
1: provide a suitable place for study (well lit, free from distractions), whenever possible
2: assist students in obtaining make-up work due to absences
3: help students develop routine study habits (same time, same place)
4: assist and acknowledge errors but not do the actual work
Notify the teacher immediately
5: if child experiences extreme difficulty in the homework
6: if materials are unavailable
7: if the family’s personal life conflicts with homework
8: if the child’s uninterrupted time spent on homework regularly exceeds the policy guidelines
9: if he/she sees an absence of homework
10: if the student is participating in non-school sponsored academic intervention and update status thereof
11: assist child in making appropriate course and course level choices when applicable
assist child in learning to budget time effectively, especially for long term assignments